Italian components maker Campagnolo has released details and pictures of its 2012 wheel range including all-new carbon-and-aluminium wheels with what they're calling an Ultra 2-Way Fit rim. Named Bullet, the new model will be available in three depths and bearing configurations along with a special variant for cyclo-cross.
Also joining Campagnolo's Bullet at the Eurobike show in Germany in a few weeks will be the recently launched Eurus 50mm all-aluminium-rimmed wheel as well as the new 'Ultra' version of the Shamal model, both with 2-way-fit. There will also be a new 80mm addition to the existing Bora carbon hoops which we now know will cost £2,509.99 per pair. Pretty well all Campagnolo wheels will now be available in 'Bright Label' and stealthy black-on-black 'Dark Label' finishes.
Campagnolo is claiming the rim on its new Bullet wheel is the first in carbon-fibre with an aluminium braking track that fits tubeless clincher tyres. It's calling the new rim system Ultra 2-Way Fit but you'll be able to order your Bullets in standard non-airtight clincher form instead if you have no interest in tubeless tyres and that's likely to be a cost saving, too.
Campagnolo 2012 Bullet front hub. There's a choice of standard, USB or CULT bearings
There will be two sub-groups; Bullet and Bullet Ultra, with the latter being available in three depths: 50mm, 80mm or the really rather deep 105mm. For each profile, as well as the choice of standard or the new 2-Way Fit, there's a choice of three types of ball bearings in the hubs; standard balls in an industrial cartridge or either of Campagnolo's proprietary USB or CULT systems.
The straightforward non-Ultra Bullet wheels will only be available in 50 or 80mm depths and with standard or USB bearings. There will only be a single colour choice which is the more subtle 'Dark Label' option whereas all the Ultra variants will be available as well in the more vibrant white-and-red "Bright Label' colour scheme.
Otherwise, what's the difference between Bullet and Bullet Ultra? Bullet Ultra gets aluminium axles and oversized aluminium spoke nipples for a bit of extra weight saving. And that weight is? Campagnolo claim a pair of Bullets in 50mm come in at 1,755 grams with the corresponding Ultras 1,590g.
The 50mm Bullet Ultras will be available in a special cyclo-crossers' version with double hub seals as well as fancy CX livery.
Campagnolo 2012 Bullet rear hub.
Something else interesting is that the rear Bullet wheels will come with a cassette freehub body which accepts 'Campagnolo AND Shimano' according to the specs we've seen although we're seeking a clarification on whether that really should say 'Campagnolo OR Shimano'. Either way, it's a welcome departure for Campagnolo to offer the option.
According to the press release, "The range of Bullet wheels was created to be a benchmark in its category for being lightweight, aerodynamic, high performance, practical, responsive, as well as for their design."
We obviously haven't haven't seen these new wheels yet, far less ridden them, but Campagnolo is very excited about how much time the Bullets have spent in development in the wind-tunnel to try and minimise the adverse effects of cross-winds across as wide a range of angles as possible. Plus the boffins in the 'Campy Tech Lab' have worked on taking weight out of the rim for better acceleration while also claiming that an aluminium braking surface is more amenable for a wider range of riders.
On pricing, when the wheels are available in the UK in the late Autumn, a pair of standard clincher Bullets will be £874.99 with the 80mm version costing £1,044.99.
The standard clincher Ultra version in 50mm will be £1,114.99 and in 80mm £1,299.99.
The 2-Way-Fit variants of the Bullet Ultras in 50mm will be £1,124.99 and with CULT bearings £1,299.99.
The pair of 2-Way-Fit Bullet Ultras in 80mm with CULT bearings will sell for £1,494.99.